For The Enhancement Of Orchid Knowledge

The Naples Orchid Society offers a $2000 annual scholarship to be awarded to a qualified student pursuing a program in Botany, Conservation or Environmental Science. Preference will be given, but not limited, to a student studying/working in SW Florida on a worthy orchid related project. The Scholarship may also be used to fund, or partially fund, an internship at an appropriate organization.

Applications will be accepted at any time, but the Scholarship will be awarded at the Naples Orchid Society regular meeting in October (for a student at a college or university working on a project) or May/June (for a person on a summer internship), or at another time as deemed appropriate by the Naples Orchid Society Board of Directors.

  • Click here to download the application in Microsoft Word.

Depending upon the nature of the project, the scholarship will be awarded in two parts: $1000 initially and another $1000 half way through the project or internship, following the submission of an interim progress report.

Applications will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee appointed by the Naples Orchid Society Board of Directors and a recommendation made to the Board of Directors. The selected applicant will be asked to meet with the Board, if possible, and even present the results of his/her study to a general membership meeting if appropriate.

John McCormick and Haleigh Ray, both students at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, were recipients of the NOS scholarship for 2011. They worked under the supervision of Dr. Lawrence Zettler, Professor of Biology and Director of the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College.  Their project, during June and July, 2011, involved monitoring and surveying native epiphytic orchids in the Panther Wildlife Preserve near Naples for infection of scale insects and identifying the scale insects to genus.

John McCormick, left and Dr. Lawrence Zettler, right, support Haleigh Ray as she collects research samples from a native orchid plant in the Fakahatchee Strand

Haleigh Ray studies samples collected in the field to determine types of insect activity on native orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand.











Scholarship recipients Crystal Elliott and Adam Zindel and their professor, Dr. Larry Zettler from Illinois College at Jacksonville, Illinois, were introduced at the July meeting of the Naples Orchid Society. Dr. Zettler’s sister, Dr. Jennifer Zettler, an entomologist, accompanied them. Research work they will be involved with may have benefits for Florida’s wild native orchids as well as domesticated hybrid plants grown by hobby and commercial growers.

Elliott and Zindel will be stationed at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge for the month of July and will be working with Larry Richardson, biologist with the refuge, and with Mike Owen, biologist with the Fakahatchee Strand State Park. They will be continuing field research on armored scale insects begun last year by Dr. Zettler’s students, Haleigh Ray and John McCormick., who were recipients of 2011 scholarships from the Naples Orchid Society. Results of that research were published in ‘Florida Entomologist’ and can be read on the NOS website at the link to the Florida Orchid Conservation Conference.

NOS’s mission is to promote the appreciation and cultivation of orchids as a hobby as well as dedication to preserving native Florida orchids and their habitats. “We are very glad to have a part in supporting this important study.” said Dr. Richard Pippen, member of the NOS Board and Scholarship Committee chairperson, “Results will be very meaningful to the orchid community, for both those who love their potted hybrid orchids and those who appreciate orchids in the wild. Last year, a small parasite was discovered in some of the scale insects’ bodies. This may have great implications for biological controls of the armored scales.” He added, “Dr. Zettler has urged NOS to be aware that SW Florida is a crucial area for the huge number and diversity of species of America’s native orchids in the wild. The research that is going on here will have an impact on orchids on an international level.” –


PHOTO CAPTION: Kit Kitchen-Maran, NOS President, Crystal Elliott, Intern, Adam Zindel, Intern, Jennifer Zettler, Entomologist, Larry Zettler, Research Advisor, Dick Pippen, Chair, NOS Scholarship Committee, at the July meeting of the Naples Orchid Society.



The Naples Orchid Society has awarded an Intern Scholarship to Ellen Radcliffe, a senior at Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL. Ms. Radcliffe will be supervised by Larry Richardson, Wildlife Biologist at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and by Dr. Lawrence Zettler, Director of the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College. Her research will include collecting samples of native orchid tissues and testing them for virus.

This year’s work will build on the research in the refuge, supported by NOS in past years, by Illinois College interns. They have discovered scale pests on native orchids and possible biological solutions to control them. Last year, they found a virus in a leaf sample of Encyclia tampensis, one of the native orchids. Further research will help answer the question of whether the virus infection is more widespread in the refuge and hopefully will lead to finding ways of dealing with it. Southwest Florida is an area that supports a huge population of the U.S.’s native orchids.

The Society also has given a grant to assist in bringing Dr. Ernesto Mujica, a leading Cuban ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) authority, to Southwest Florida to establish ways of long-term monitoring of ghost orchid populations in the refuge so that this information can be compared to the populations of the orchid in Cuba. Hurricanes, pests and diseases, plus poaching and loss of habitat can all affect the numbers of these orchids remaining in the wild. This work is important to help conservationists understand orchid reproduction and the ability of these plants to survive in nature. Radcliffe also hopes to work with Dr. Mujica to establish transects to identify known ghost orchid locations and locate new locations using GPS technology for monitoring.

Another NOS grant has been given to Mike Owen, Park Biologist for the Fakahatchee Strand State Park, to have his field notes on ghost orchids transcribed into a data base that can be used to demark the population in the park and merged with the information collected in the refuge. It is hoped this will expand the area of ghost orchid monitoring.

The Naples Orchid Society looks forward to their Thursday, July 10th meeting when Ellen Radcliffe, Dr. Zettler and others working on this important project will be present to meet with the membership and discuss their goals. At this time, Dr. Mujica’s visa application is still under consideration in Cuba. If he is unable to be here in July, he will hopefully come at a later date to work with our native ghost orchid populations.

The July meeting will take place at the Baker Center gym at Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples on Thursday, July 10th instead of the regular first Thursday of the month, due to the 4th of July celebrations. Activities start at 6:00pm and the presentation by Francisco Miranda of Miranda Orchids about Brazilian orchids will begin at 7:30pm. The meeting is free to guests, memberships are available. For more information: 239-775-5220  or

Submitted by Kit Kitchen-Maran

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Ellen Radcliffe has been studying abroad in Peru during the past semester. The orchid is Sobralia dichotoma, a native of Peru.

Dr. Ernesto Mujica has been monitoring ghost orchids in Cuba. He hopes to help set up a similar program in SW FL to be able to compare populations.


Upcoming Events

  • July 6, 2017
    Monthly Meeting


    Bill’s Mini Culture Class will return in July.

    Flower Registration 6:30 p.m.
    Flower Judging 7:10 p.m.
    Meeting 7:30 p.m.
    Program 7:45 p.m.

    6:30 pm,